September 19th, 2013
I finally finished the edits on RED. I am sending it off to have a couple people read it, then it’ll go to the editor for a final look. I cannot wait to have this book behind me. It started off at 88,000 words and now sits at a little over 94,000. Believe it or not, I chopped a lot! But I am the type of editor that always ends up with a higher word count than I started with, even if I cut fifty pages out of a book. I’ve learned to live with it.
Anyway, Red will be released next month sometime. My guess is towards the end of the month. A perfect gift for Halloween. *ggg I will be releasing five titles over the next three months. The batch of releases will give me time to work on my next YA. I’m looking forward to it.
On a completely separate note, I picked FRIGID out of my TBR pile. I bought it after reading a recommendation in the Romantic Times Booklover’s Magazine. It’s the type of story that once you pick it up, it’s very difficult to put down. I was reading until three in the morning. I haven’t finished yet–thanks to the snail’s pace with which I read–but I am LOVING it. Jennifer Armentrout/J.Lynn is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read anything by her yet, definitely check her out.
September 13th, 2013
At the end of this month, I’ll be sending RED in for professional edits. Yes, the book has been edited before. Yes, this is a re-release. And yes, I have changed several things in the book. So many in fact, that it needs to have a professional go over it again.
The one thing I have discovered by revisiting RED is that this book wasn’t written for a particular audience. LOL! I never knew that prior to doing this edit. I always assumed I’d written it for the romance/urban fantasy genre readers. But the truth is RED, SCARLET, and CRIMSON are Sci-fi/fantasy horror novels that just happen to have a romance subplot in them.
There are so many different elements in these books that it’s nearly impossible to figure out where to shelve them. I have no idea if they’ll find their ‘audience’ this time around. I’ve decided since it’s difficult to categorize them that I’m going to play up one of the elements over the others. In this instance, that means focusing on the suspense. It’s a gamble.
I’m afraid horror and sci-fi readers would be turned off by the romance element. (Everyone knows that girls have cooties.) On the flip-side, I think romance readers would be squeamish about the horror elements. The one thing I would never call this book/series is a paranormal romance. The romance takes place over three novels and the hero/heroine don’t meet until page fifty or sixty in the first book. The focus is on a killer, a woman discovering who she truly is, and the changing political climate on the Deadworld. Screams romance, doesn’t it? LOL!
The wonderful Dar Dixon was kind enough to redesign the covers for me. I’ve pasted them below. I think she did a fabulous job. I plan to re-release RED and SCARLET almost simultaneously. CRIMSON will follow thirty days later. I’m also going to write a couple of short novellas that tie into some of the characters. This is actually harder than it seems, since I have to get the tone right. I don’t want a reader picking up one of the shorts and thinking that they’re getting a romance novel, then buying RED and reading about someone being ripped apart in the opening chapter. I don’t think they’d like that very much. (evil grin)
September 11th, 2013
I am currently reading nine different books: Damek’s Redemption by N.J. Walters, Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovich, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch, Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake, Horns by Joe Hill, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Nocturnal by Scott Sigler, and Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter. Thus far, I’m enjoying all the books, which is why it’s so odd that I’m having difficulty concentrating long enough to finish any of them.
I go through this reading stage every year. No idea what brings it on. Normally, I have to go back to my keeper-shelf and start re-reading old favorites to break myself out of the reading rut. I know why I stopped reading a couple of the books. Something happened in the stories that upset me. And when I say that, I don’t mean that the authors did anything wrong. Just the opposite. They added an intense element that was upsetting to me, but was great for the stories. I just have to brace myself to get through them. Apparently, that’s taking longer than it normally does. But I know I will, since I quite enjoy the authors of these particular books.
What do you do to break out of a reading rut? Any tried and true methods to get back to reading the new books?
September 3rd, 2013
Well I’m finally back from the UK. I’m actually having a harder time adjusting than I thought I would. I rather enjoyed the lifestyle in the UK. There’s a lot of walking. Didn’t need a car in London, which I enjoyed more than I ever thought I would, since I quite like to drive. I also liked having all the cultural things available outside my door (ie the museums, plays, musicals, concerts, etc.). Although they’re completely different, it reminded me of what I liked about living in L.A. years ago. Of course in L.A., you don’t have the same types of entertainment. Anyway, I’m still a little jet-lagged and managed to catch a cold, so I’m trying to recover.
I’m not expecting to accomplish much this week, but I’ll need to hit the ground running next week. I have nine chapters left to edit in RED, then I’m sending it off to an editor. I need to know if it makes sense to anyone, but me. *ggg I’m probably not going to edit much of Scarlet and Crimson, since this job has turned into nearly re-writing the entire novel. I don’t really want to do that two more times. LOL! I’d rather focus on new material. That said, I am glad that I got to go through RED. I hope to heck that I’ve made it better. It’s still extremely gritty. The only thing I’ve toned down is the romance, since it’s obvious from the layout of the original version of the book that it wasn’t a romance novel. Does it have elements of romance? Yep. Do my hero and heroine hook up? Yep, but it’s not a romance novel.
I realized while re-editing this novel that the book is about two things: Catching a killer. And the heroine discovering her true nature. Everything else adds to the overall series arc, but isn’t what RED is ultimately about (ie self-discovery). It would’ve been better to have been marketed as a sci-fi/fantasy suspense novel, which is what it is, but you know how that goes.
I’m also looking at either writing a short prequel or side stories based in the Dead World. Not quite sure which at this point. I know four possible ones, but since two are fairly tragic stories, so I don’t think they’d be the best ones to go with. The third is a love story involving one of the side characters. And the fourth is an origin story. My concern is that a lot of these stories won’t make sense to people who haven’t read the series and met the characters. So I’m trying to come up with a way to introduce readers to the Dead World that won’t confuse them or scare them away.
I’ve been making career plans while I’ve been overseas. I am going to release several of my books in paperback. I have to get covers made for them and have them formatted before that can happen. So it will be a slow process. I have other things that I’m looking into and will post more once things have solidified.
August 24th, 2013
Haggis comes on nachos.
And Angels play bagpipes.
August 19th, 2013
I downloaded Plants vs. Zombies: It’s About Time the day it came out and have been playing it ever since. Like a lot of Plants vs. Zombies fans, I was SUPER excited to get my hands on this game. Now that I’ve been playing it a few days, my enthusiasm is waning dramatically. I’d read some angry online reviews about how the game nickels and dimes you. Honestly, I thought it was just people complaining that they had to pay for the game. I’m all for the developers making money, but even I’m having trouble continuing with PZ 2.
I’ve already spent $20 and I’d have to spend a whole lot more than $50 to get through this game. At this point, I would’ve rather they just put the game up for $49.95 and called it a day. Why? Because as far as I can tell, most (not all) of the game levels seem set up to require the purchase of extra coins. Is it possible to defeat the zombies without them? I’m sure it is somehow, but I’ve yet to figure it out.
The plants in this version are having difficulty killing even the smallest zombies. (In the previous version, the plants could kill the weaker zombies with little effort.) Not so with this new version. It’s like the plants have been made weaker and the zombies have been made stronger. At one point, I had a row of four ’100 sun’ plants lined up firing at a single standard zombie and the zombie still managed to take out three of my plants before it died. I love that they’ve made the game more challenging, but this is beginning to feel like it’s been skewed to require continuous payments.
I’d planned to play this game from start to finish, but now I’m not altogether certain I will finish it. It’s hard to have fun, when you feel like you’re being taken advantage of. Buyer Beware.
August 18th, 2013
I know I haven’t posted in a while. I haven’t had
any many quiet days, since we arrived in Edinburgh. That’s what happens when you have family visiting, lots of friends to see, and shows booked. We went to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo last week. It was terrific as always. These pictures I’ve already posted on my Facebook (all but one) because I haven’t had the chance to download the ones from my camera yet.
We also got the chance to see Sandi Toksvig, Susan Calman, Omid Djalili (who is funny enough without having to ‘borrow’ jokes from other comedians), Beauty and the Beast, and John Lloyd. For those who don’t know who John Lloyd is, he’s the man who produced Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Blackadder, and QI among many, many other things. He spoke for an hour about words and the various shows he’s done. Thus far, it was my favorite ‘performance’.
As he was walking home from the pub last night, Dh spotted a last minute addition to the Fringe Festival. One that isn’t in the guide books. He saw the names and immediately knew he had to get tickets. Thanks to his quick actions, we’ll be seeing Steven Moffat (writer and producer of Sherlock and Doctor Who), Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett (with John Lloyd) speak next week. To say that I’m thrilled is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Yes, I’m screaming like a little girl right now. Anyone who’s heard me speak knows how hard that is for me to do.
On a separate note, for giggles we’ve decided to look at some property this coming week. The trip over wasn’t just to visit family and see friends. We wanted to check out the UK to see if we’d like to spend more time over here and if so, where. In that respect, it’s been an interesting trip. The things we thought we’d like we really didn’t and the things we thought would be just okay turned out to be spectacular. We won’t be making any rash decisions (ie pulling up stakes and moving full time), but it’s good to have all the information.
Today and tomorrow I am working on Red edits (like I did last night). Someday this book will be done. No idea what day, but someday. I’d planned to write a blog about writing and agents today, but the entry is already too long. Maybe tomorrow. Have a great day.
August 9th, 2013
We left Germany early this morning and arrived in Edinburgh. It was sad to say goodbye to family. We had a great visit. They always take such good care of us. The flat we rented is better than we’d anticipated and the views are to die for (but we hope we don’t have to . Have a lot of work to do, but we also plan to see several shows since the Edinburgh Festival is happening. Can’t wait!
This is the road we had to take to leave town this morning. The one thing I love about Germany is they have a lot of bike/running trails and people use them year around. It’s terrific. I wish my hometown was set up that way.
This is what we saw when we arrived in Edinburgh.
The Queen’s old ship, the Royal Britannia from one of our balconies.
The dark brooding building on the right in the distance is Edinburgh Castle. It’s actually closer than it looks in the photo.
Tonight I’m taking it easy. Making notes about things that I need to get done and preparing for the next few days of shows. I’ll try to take more pictures when I can.
August 7th, 2013
For 5 days ONLY, PHANTOM WARRIORS VOLUME 2 is on sale for .99 at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. Get it before the price goes back up on Sunday.
August 6th, 2013
Sorry I’ve been so quiet here. We’ve taken a small break from the UK and landed in Germany. Having a great time visiting family and brushing the dust off our German language skills. Apparently, my skills have sprouted dust bunnies that could take down the terminator. *ggg I plan to work on that before the holidays come around. It’s just a short visit, but so far it’s been lovely. I’ll try to take some pictures.
Friday will take us back to Scotland. The Edinburgh Festival is happening right now. Can’t wait to catch several of the acts and wander around the city. Love, love, LOVE Edinburgh.